The Woman in the Photograph

woman_in_the_photographtwo-and-a-half-stars / 5

Lee Miller is independent and stubborn and has come to the conclusion that modeling for Vogue will simply not do. She has aspirations of being on the other side of the camera lens and hopes to persuade the world renowned photographer, Man Ray, to be her mentor. In suit with everything else in this book, a snap of her fingers does the trick, and with no struggle at all, Lee finds herself working and living with Man Ray in Paris. When Lee begins to gain recognition for her own photography work – and other men in the art scene begin to take notice of the pretty face that landed her the modeling gig – Man’s jealousy begins to show.

I expect one thing from a historical novel: I want to turn every page and fall more and more in love with the ways of the time. I want a historical fiction to make me wish I had been born in a different time; I want it to transport me and make me wish you could step through its pages to join the characters. Set in Paris in 1929, this should have been a simple enough task. Yet, I found that I was frankly not intrigued by the time period, or Paris itself, despite the constant and lavish parties, drinking, and romancing. Pair that with the utter lack of conflict, and the narrator’s immaturity throughout the book, I found that I continued to read simply for something to do while I waited for my lunch break to run out of time.

Originally published on San Francisco Book Review.